5 Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 3:16 7 ways smart home devices can help you sleep better Tags Comments Smart lightbulb at CES 2019. David Becker / Getty Images Today, you can operate almost everything in your house from your phone. But, like most technology, nothing is perfect. While smart lightbulbs themselves aren’t dangerous, the apps and platforms that control them might be. Last month, Dark Cubed, an American cybersecurity company, released its State of IoT Security report and detailed potential security threats in smart home devices. Dark Cubed said it purchased several in-home smart devices that can be found at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy or other stores and tested their security. While the company said that it wasn’t surprising that most of the apps weren’t secure, the IoT (Internet of Things) lightbulbs were even worse. According to Dark Cubed, simply dimming your smart lightbulb could be enabling real-time location sharing. “What was surprising was the fact that some of these devices, such as the IoT lightbulb, were so insecure that it is beyond what could be considered a mistake,” Dark Cubed reported. “We found that the extent to which the manufacturers and infrastructure associated with these devices communicate with, or is related to, China is shocking and has significant national security implications.”The company also noted that while most IoT devices are manufactured in China, some of the tested devices and their companion apps were secure and didn’t share data.”Unfortunately, consumers have no ability to differentiate between the safe and the dangerous devices given the lack of focus on security by retailers,” Dark Cubed said in its report. Mobile Security
YouTube: MavixxxPopular conspiracy theory YouTube channel ‘Mavixxx’ has recently uploaded a very mysterious video that shows a partly cloaked UFO hovering in the skies of Russia. According to the YouTube channel, the footage was captured on August 18, 2019, by a local resident named Tsigarev.The UFO spotted in broad daylight can be seen moving very slowly in the skies and at times, it eerily changes its shape. As the video went viral on YouTube, conspiracy theorists who analyzed the video assured that this is a proof of hologram technology tested as a part of Project Bluebeam.These conspiracy theorists outlandishly claim that Project Bluebeam is a secret mission carried out by the elites to establish a new world order. They believe that the next stage of this secretive mission will be a false alien invasion intended to mislead the general public.A section of other conspiracy theorists argues that the UFO spotted in the Russian skies could be a cloaked alien ship or a secretive military vessel. These alien enthusiasts believe that extraterrestrial from deep space has been visiting the earth for hundreds of thousands of years, and cave paintings featuring skymen and flying objects are authentic proof of their existence.However, skeptics believe that the video uploaded by ‘Mavixxx’ is a hoax and the UFO featured in the clip is generated with the help of computer graphics. Some other people argued that the UFO in the video could be actually a balloon moving in the course of the wind. A few days back, Mavixxx had uploaded another video that showed an unidentified flying object hovering very near to a tornado. After watching the video, viewers of the YouTube channels suggested that aliens might be using tornadoes and bolts of lightning to reap energy.
Wilfredo Lee/AP/FileIn this April 19, 2019 file photo, migrant children play soccer at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children on Good Friday in Homestead, Fla. The government has stopped reimbursing some contracted shelters for the cost of teaching immigrant children English-language courses and providing legal services and recreational activities. The Health and Human Services department notified shelters around the country recently that it was not going to reimburse them for teachers’ pay or other costs.The federal government has stopped paying for English-language courses and legal services at facilities that hold immigrant children around the country, imposing budget cuts it says are necessary at a time when record numbers of unaccompanied children are arriving at the border.The Health and Human Services department notified shelters around the country last week that it was not going to reimburse them for teachers’ pay or other costs such as legal services or recreational equipment. The move appears to violate a legal settlement known as the Flores agreement that requires the government to provide education and recreational activities to immigrant children in its care.But the agency says it doesn’t have the funding to provide those services as it deals with a soaring number of children coming to the U.S., largely from Central America.It’s now up to the various nonprofit and private organizations run facilities for the children to cover the cost of teachers, supplies, legal services and even recreational activities and equipment — if they can, or choose to.BCFS, a nonprofit provider in several Texas cities, said in a statement that it would continue providing services because not doing so would violate state licensing standards. It said it will use emergency funding from its parent organization. “The health and well-being of those in our care are of the utmost importance and we hope there is a rapid resolution to this funding issue,” spokeswoman Evy Ramos said.The government says it currently has 13,200 children in its care, and more are coming. The Border Patrol said Wednesday that 11,500 children crossed the border without a parent just last month. The kids are transferred to the care of Health and Human Services after the Border Patrol processes them. Health and Human Services contracts out their care and housing to nonprofits and private companies.“As we have said, we have a humanitarian crisis at the border brought on by a broken immigration system that is putting tremendous strain (on the agency),” spokeswoman Evelyn Stauffer said. “Additional resources are urgently required to meet the humanitarian needs created by this influx – to both sustain critical child welfare and release operations and increase capacity.”Health and Human Services is seeking nearly $3 million in emergency funding to cover more beds and provide basic care.An official at one of the shelter providers said the government notified them on May 30 that they wouldn’t be reimbursing costs of providing education and other activities. The providers pay for things like teacher salary upfront and are then reimbursed by the government.The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said his employer was scrambling to figure out how it would cover the cost of teachers. The provider hasn’t laid anyone off, but worries about children who desperately need to learn English and be intellectually stimulated.Advocates are also worried about the ramifications of cutting recreational activities. Funding cuts may result in physical education coordinators from being let go and in a lack of adults who can supervise children playing outside.“The kids are inside 23 hours, and the hour they spend outside is a real lifeline for them,” said J.J. Mulligan, an attorney at the Immigration Law Clinic at University of California, Davis, who has visited and spoken to many of the children at the facilities. “Most of them come from Latin American countries where soccer is king, so the ability to play with their friends really brings them joy in dark circumstances.”In a memo to staff obtained by The Associated Press, Southwest Key interim CEO Joella Brooks said she was working with the government to figure out why the funding had ended and how it can continue to offer the services. Southwest Key is a nonprofit and the largest provider of shelters for immigrant children.“In the meantime, remember the service, encouragement and compassion you provide to these youth every day matters a great deal. Please continue to stay focused on taking good care of them,” Brooks wrote to her staff.U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, was critical of the cuts.“By eliminating English classes and legal aid that are critical to ensuring children successfully navigate the asylum process, the Trump Administration is essentially condemning children to prison and throwing away the key until their imminent deportation,” Grijalva, who represents a district on the border, said in a statement.___Gomez Licon reported from Miami. Associated Press journalist John Mone contributed to this report. Share
Cindy Sosroutomo Share Friday, October 19, 2018 Two brands, two brochures: Insight & Luxury Gold launch 2019 lineups TORONTO — You can never accuse The Travel Corporation (TTC) of resting on its laurels. Following a highly successful summer 2018 season, its Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold brands are already gearing up for 2019 with brand new brochures, both of which are being called their biggest collections yet.Speaking to Travelweek at Toronto’s launch event yesterday, Insight Vacations’ CEO, Ulla Hefel Böhler, said that the company’s product offering has never been better after 40 years of business. Highlighted in its 230-page Europe & Britain 2019 brochure, Insight will travel to over 40 countries on 96 journeys and offer more than 70 Insight Experiences, which are characterized by authentic dining, stylish accommodations and small groups sizes.New for next year is the 10-day ‘Northern Lights of Scandinavia’ itinerary, which includes a meet and greet with the owner of a husky farm, visits to Akershus Castle and the Royal Palace in Oslo, and a stay at the glass-roofed Aurora Village in Ivalo for the chance to view the Northern Lights from the comfort of one’s own bed.Scandinavia, said Böhler, has always been popular for Insight during the summer months, but the company is now pushing it as a winter destination, too, that offers much more than just the Northern Lights. And because there are limited departures for ‘Northern Lights’, Böhler anticipates that it will sell out quickly.This is all the more reason for agents to push for early bookings, said Brad Ford, President of Insight Vacations. “We’re telling travellers to not wait because you run the risk of not getting the journey of your choice,” he said. Insight’s Early Booking Bonus includes 10% off and runs until Jan. 31, 2019.Also expected to sell well next year is a new 10-day Greek Island Hopper tour (“a great standalone itinerary” according to Ford), the newly enhanced ‘Jordan Experience’ (now featuring an overnight in Wadi Rum and a visit to the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative), as well as Egypt, which Böhler said is making a big comeback for the company.More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winter“We’ve been seeing so much business to Egypt, and we’re excited to say that numbers are finally coming back,” she said, adding that during a recent trip to the country, she was amazed by the sparse crowds and short lineups. “It’s much less crowded than it was before, now is definitely the time to go.”Luxury Gold, which also offers Egypt, is anticipating another stellar year with its brand new Worldwide 2019 brochure. Featuring 55 itineraries (up from 48), the brochure offers “the best of independent travel and guided vacations,” said Brett Tollman, CEO of The Travel Corporation. The brand, a collection of high-end travel experiences that has been personally curated by TTC chairman (and Brett’s father) Stanley Tollman, was launched five years ago to bring back the golden era of travel.“My father’s vision for Luxury Gold came about after seeing the success of Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld (TTC’s high-end hotel and river cruise brands). He thought, ‘Why not do the same for land offerings?’” he told Travelweek.In addition to upscale accommodations, gourmet dining, and 40-pax maximum group sizes (with some select journeys capping at 16 and even less, now with its new Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys department), Tollman highlighted Luxury Gold’s Travelling Concierge as one of the brand’s differentiating pillars, whose sole duty is to customize trips to create a unique experience for each client.With such elevated touches, he described Luxury Gold as “the best of two worlds” (a hybrid of FIT travel and guided touring), and went so far as to put the brand above competitors A&K and Tauck. The difference, he said, is that Luxury Gold is much more agent focused.“We don’t do consumer marketing, we rely heavily on our agent partners,” he said. The company’s personal guarantee is to never steal a customer, which is backed up by its Travel Wallet program. According to Tollman, 90% of its business is repeat clients who go back to the travel agent to book. “For the other 10% who come directly to us, we’ll still pay full commission to the original agent, even if they had nothing to do with the booking.”More news: FIVE FESTIVE FOODS TO TRY AT EUROPE’S CHRISTMAS MARKETSAnd with Luxury Gold packages priced anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 – times two per booking – “the commissions are amazing,” he said.Another value to agents is client testimonials, which are posted to TTC’s websites via third party platform Feefo. Clients are encouraged to provide post-trip feedback via email, which is then posted “with no interference from us,” said Tollman. “Consumers want validation from other consumers. By reading these reviews, they can book with 100% confidence.”And although the volume of bookings for Luxury Gold is nowhere near that of Insight Vacations’, there’s room to grow, he added.“Even though our numbers are still relatively small, we’ve grown exponentially over the past five years,” he said. “There’s plenty of capacity to grow further, which is why we need agent support.”For more information go to insightvacations.com and luxurygoldvacations.com. About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019 Tags: Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, The Travel Corporation << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by
Travelweek Group OTTAWA — Canadian hotelier Group Germain Hotels has announced the construction of the $40 million Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport.The 180-room new-build hotel will have about 3,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a restaurant located on the top floor, providing 360-degree views of the airport’s operations. An indoor skywalk will connect the hotel to the airport terminal. The hotel is scheduled to open late 2020.“This announcement marks an important milestone for Group Germain Hotels. It means that we have reached our goal of 20 hotels by 2020, and we are extremely proud of this achievement,” says Jean-Yves Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels.“Since we set out this ambitious goal, our teams have been working relentlessly to find the best locations to establish our three hotel brands across Canada, this was a tremendous collaborative effort,” added Christiane Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels. “We are well on our way to reaching our ultimate goal which is to become the first Canadian independent hotelier group to be present all across Canada.”More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyThe Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport will be Group Germain Hotels’ third property in Canada’s Capital Region. The first Alt Hotel, located in the business district, opened in 2016 and in spring 2018 Le Germain Hotel welcomed its first guests. YOW will be the third Alt Hotel to open in a terminal airport location confirming the growing demand for airport stays.“After more than a year of due diligence, we found the ideal site and partner to develop a YOW terminal-connected hotel,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “This development, plus LRT connectivity, plus our pre-board screening and concession revitalization plans underline YOW’s commitment to serving the growing demands of Canada’s Capital Region’s residents and visitors.” Share Posted by Canada’s Group Germain hits benchmark early: 20 hotels by 2020 << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, January 28, 2019